Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Darwin's Dangerous Idea

Darwin's Dangerous Idea (1995) is a controversial book by Daniel Dennett that puts forward the principle that Darwinian evolution is the central organising force not only in biology, but also in most other aspects of the Universe, including the human mind (see Neural Darwinism).

Dennett regards Darwinism as a "universal acid" that eats through virtually all traditional beliefs, especially Christianity. He calls Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection "the single best idea anybody ever had."

People "used to think of meaning coming from on high and being ordained from the top down," Dennett says, but we must now "replace the traditional idea of God the creator with the idea of the process of natural selection doing the creating."

Selected quotations (page numbers in parentheses):

Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life ISBN 068482471X